I’m on Patreon

It’s been a glorious summer here in Portland and I’ve neglected this blog. But I’ve been soaking up the sun taking lots of pictures and trying to paint as much as possible.

My artist friend Nancy Cuevas has encouraged me to sign up on Patreon. So I did.

Patreon is a way for artists to share exclusive content and get support from patrons to help fund projects, art supplies, pay rent – all that good stuff.

I have SO MANY photos to share, like I have barely scratched the surface on this blog. I’ve got film photography, watercolor paintings, works in progress, and now my latest fix are all these really awesome iPhone apps (I’ve heard all good things about: A Color Story, Afterglow, Camera Plus, VSCO Cam, Photoshop even has an app) and I’m delighted to find that some allow for more manual settings than the standard camera app that comes native to the iPhone. So with my hard drive on every single device (my iPhone, my computer) brimming to the max with images, I’m going to try to make good use of them. My future supporters and patrons will receive a high resolution image of my artwork and they can print them however they want.

TIP: For affordable art prints, you can download my image and check out Costco:

a nice sized print 16×20″ runs around $7
a HUGE print 20×30″ runs around $10
You can choose to pick up in store to save on shipping.

Thank you so much for your support! Hugs! 

The link: https://patreon.com/user?u=6988738&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=creatorshare2

Lost Lake weekend

#lostlake #oregon

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I just came back from a relaxing weekend at Lost Lake, in the Mount Hood National Forest. It is aptly named because you will lose all cell phone and GPS reception to get there (on Lolo Pass from 26 or coming south from Hood River).  We didn’t plan on being disconnected from the internet but it was definitely nice to have a break from it all.

Lost Lake

This is the majestic view from the north day use area. Lost Lake is actually a privately run campground and you can rent boats. I was able to easily kayak from the boat launch/ general store area to the lakefront by the day use area. The lake is deceptively big, I tried to kayak from the northern part to the other side, close to Mount Hood. I would say Sparks Lake, Trillium Lake, and Waldo Lake are still my favorites but Lost Lake is definitely near the top of the list.

Lost Lake Oregon

There’s also a 3 mile roundtrip trail around the lake and a steep hike up to the butte where you can see 3 mountains.

Without having the internet to distract me, I had to amuse myself by other means. I did a set of plein air lake studies on watercolor paper:

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

I normally don’t paint outside, you can’t really in Oregon except in the summer (at least I don’t know how other painters paint in the rain). I had to be much more economical and less fussy- using lake water in a plastic cup, not having a proper palette setup, painting much more directly on the paper. All while having bugs constantly try to distract me from painting.

Art I Like: Word Art and some more of my watercolors

It’s flower season here in Portland. I have been doing a lot of fun watercolors.

Here’s one of some geraniums:
Geranium, watercolor on paper, 12x16

Geranium, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12×16

Foxgloves are biennials, which apparently means they bloom every two years. I thought this was a yet another weed in my front yard and recently I got surprised by these lovely blossoms.
Foxgloves, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12x16

Foxgloves, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12×16

I also grew a bunch of wonderful tulips this year. Here’s a view of the tulips when they get all floppy and flattened right before the petals are going to drop.

Spent tulips, 2017x watercolor on paper, 12x16

Spent tulips, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12×16

And I could take pictures of peonies  forever. I have peonies in my garden! Hot pink ones and these pink frilly ones (I think they’re Sarah Bernhardts?) I want to grow tree peonies but they’re like $80 a pot.

Peony bouquet, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12x16

Peony bouquet, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12×16

Last time I mentioned I painted a canvas with a lavender background. I wrote out that dream quote in yellow paint and then smeared it out. Not sure where this is going. I could see this one being used for a landscape eventually or maybe I’ll make it an abstract. This canvas is larger than the ones I’ve been working on.
Work in progress
The canvas is sitting on an unstretched piece of canvas that I found rolled up (my mother had dutifully saved everything of mine). I’m going to paint over it as well with oil. We’ll see how the shapes in the background play out.

I was reminded of an artist  that I like on Pinterest …Jenny Holzer. She writes memorable quotes and they are embedded in all sorts of places: billboards, movie theater signs, etched in marble, projected on a building, etc etc. I love this quote:

This piece is so fitting for today’s politics:

Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise from the series Truisms T-shirts (1980-)

Untitled Bench, Jenny Holzer, Missing Peace Exhibit

I had a drawing teacher tell me a long time ago, in a place far far away that my charcoal drawings reminded him of Cy Twombly. I was fortunate to see Cy Twombly at a retrospective I think at the Whitney Museum several years ago. He’s amazing. He embeds words in scribbles and gestural marks in a very beautiful and effortless way

Apollo by Cy Twombly

Here’s a recent watercolor of a peony with the word daydream scribbled on top. Nowhere near  as masterful as  Twombly but we’ll see where adding words in my art leads me. Don’t quit your daydream!

Daydream pink peony

Daydream pink peony

Spring Flowers- some oil paintings

I’ve been awful about updating my blog this year. In fact I hadn’t thought about it at all when Portland artist Randall David Tipton emailed me to tell me he had read my blog post about his artwork that I wrote over a year ago. He returned the favor and highlighted a watercolor on his blog. Thank you Randall!

After a very long, wet winter (one of the wettest winters on record in Oregon), it is flower season here in Portland. This is the time of year when it is really hard for me to concentrate on doing any paintings because I just want to be out in the sun and take lots and lots of pictures.

Anyway, I wanted to update my blog to show some spring flower oil paintings I have completed recently. I wanted these to be light, bright, and colorful.  In the first painting of a quince bouquet, I wanted it to feel like a watercolor- painting with thin, transparent layers. This was successful for the most part but not sure if there’s too much ‘white’ left? What do you think? I’m going to do another one with the same technique, but start with a solid color background first to avoid that problem. I’ve prepped a canvas with a very light bright lavender. We’ll see how that goes.

Glowing quince, 2017, oil on linen, 16x20

Glowing quince, 2017, oil on linen, 16×20

This next one is also a painting done from the same quince bouquet in a teal vase but from a different perspective. I also used  a slightly different technique, painting much thicker. I think my obsession with Matisse shows a bit more here. Which one do you like more this one or the first one?

Quince bouquet, 2017, oil on canvas, 16×20

Here’s another closeup of a spring bouquet, I think composed of all the early spring blossoms:   quince, forsythia, and cherry blossom leaves. I had a lot of fun playing with color- glazing the background in teal and emerald green, creating the dark purple leaves.

Spring bouquet, teal. 2017. Oil on canvas, 16x20

Spring bouquet, teal. 2017. Oil on canvas, 16×20

Macheros Mexico, home of the Monarch Butterflies

This past month I splurged on a yoga retreat (yes fancy )to Macheros Mexico. My creative coach Nancy Cuevas and I had been brainstorming travel ideas and when she told me about this magical idea to visit the mountain forests where crowds of monarchs migrate to from North America AND do yoga….I was SO in!  I’ve added some of my favorite shots to my print shop. I need to a longer write up about my trip but I wanted to quickly give an update:

We did rooftop yoga! Here’s a black and white film shot:

rooftop yoga Macheros Mexico

I love, love the pink bougainvillea that grows in Mexico and California. I wish Oregon was warm enough, I would plant these all over my yard.

Mancheros Mexico- pink bougainvillea

 

Just chillin’ on a hammock with a great view at JM Butterfly BnB. The weather there is perfect nearly all year.

Macheros Mexico- JM Butterfly BnB

A view from the top of  the El Rosario Buttefly Reserve. Yes I galloped on a horse to get there!

El Rosario butterfly reserve

These golden wildflowers grow in meadows near the forests and the butterflies love them.

El Rosario butterfly reserve

 

Art I made in 2016

It’s been a productive year for my art.
Important things I’ve learned:

  • Use more paint, especially with watercolors
  • Figure out what to do with the background
  • Working with transparent oil paint colors

For next year I am going to be ambitious. I’ve already purchased some canvases and they just not to be painted. Hopefully I will also be able to showcase them in public, which means learning how to do things like varnish, mat, and frame my work.  I have so many ideas, I just need time!

Some highlights from 2016:

betsyness.com
work by Betsy Chang, betsyness.com
floral still life by Betsy Chang
floral still life by Betsy Chang
betsyness.com
betsyness.com

Footprint still life oil painting on linen 16x20

Bronze quince still life oil painting on linen 16x20

Ninebark still life

 

 

Art I Like: Henri Matisse

I already blogged about Matisse, after my trip to the Met Museum a few months ago. I’ve been pinning his work over and over again.

Matisse pinned from ArtStack
Matisse pinned from nevsepic.com.ua
Matisse pinned from plus.google.com

I really like how he is able to abstract his work and ‘flatten’ form into shapes that are reminiscent of pattern. In this book I got from Le Souk Le Souk, it describes how inspired he was from his trip to Morocco– and it shows!

He flattens space but it still makes sense as a cohesive space because the color and the line weight guide you from foreground to background. It’s very skillfully done.  It reminds me of when Web 2.0 came out and everything had a drop shadow on it. There is dimensionality while still being flat….it’s 2.5 D.

He said, “It is the beginning of my expression with color, with blacks and their contrasts.” The painting’s black ground separates the three parts, but black unites them, too, by working its way into various areas of each part. The black, though it serves to depict deep shadow, also refers to light. Matisse wrote of a contemporaneous painting, “I began to use black as a color of light and not as a color of darkness.”

I’m inspired by his skill and am going to explore color, line, and pattern in my work in an abstracted but flattened space…particularly in watercolor.

#crocosmia #lily #watercolor #art #artistsoninstagram

A photo posted by Betsyness Art Studio (@betsynessartstudiocollection) on

 

Fall foliage mixed media on paper 12x16

 

Two still life and two landscape oil paintings

I completed another blue painting of quince flowers inspired by the tonalist works of Whistler and Inness. I used thick cobalt blue to mark the petals. Cobalt blue is really pretty and I will have to use it again soon as a standalone color. This was painted on oil primed linen that I got on clearance from Blick. It’s a pricey, but wonderful support to paint on.

Cobalt blue still life

Previously I posted that I loved the look of raw linen and the universe heard me… Nancy Cuevas shared with me this product that Jerry’s Artarama sells of clear primed linen.

Footprint still life

The weave isn’t quite as nice as the first one but it’s an interesting challenge to preserve the beauty of the raw linen as a ground. Here’s one that I’m going to call “Footprint Still Life”. It’s a much quicker study and I accidentally stepped on it. I think I like it as is but stay tuned I may play with it some more.

I finally completed the small oil painting of my trip to Bandon Beach this past summer. These last two paintings are on canvas board, probably the least fun support to paint on but it’s nice to having something that is ready to go to prevent procrastination.

Bandon Beach

This last painting is a gift and inspired by my trip to Lake George in upstate New York. Lake George was immortalized by the great Georgia O’Keeffe. This painting comes nowhere near her genius but I was able to  explore colors that I had not used before and glazing pastels on top of other bright colors without any underpaintings.

Lake George painting

 

Now Offering Fine Art Prints

My print shop is now live via Instaproofs! I’ve uploaded photography from my recent travels.

Long Beach, WA

Eventually I hope to add prints of my paintings. I’m using a professional, high-end film print shop based in Los Angeles, Richard Photo Lab. These guys are wizards at color and are experts in their craft.

You will receive archival quality images on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper or  Kodak Professional Endure Premier Paper. I will be donating a portion of my proceeds to the Nature Conservancy. Thank you in advance for supporting my work.

Deschutes Forest

Ninebark and other fall foliage- mixed media

I love the dark foliage on the copper beech tree but I don’t have a source nearby. I planted the bronze colored ninebark because it was drought tolerant and had the dark foliage that I desired.

Here is a mixed media (watercolor, gouache, ink) painting I did of  a still life I created using the ninebark leaves.

Ninebark still life

Here’s another painting inspired by the trees at the Sunnyside Medical Campus. The leaves are much more brilliantly vivid in real life, I guess I still got the greys of winter on my mind.

Foliage

I’m still obsessed with creating greys and muted maroons and I like how the complimentary colors meet to create these interesting, iridescent stains.